After My First Blogging Conference – #MNblogcon

12 Sep

On Friday and Saturday I pushed the boundaries of my comfort.

I went to a blogger’s house for a pre-conference happy hour with Flip Flop Wines and I didn’t know anyone there.

The next day I went to a conference with 200 strangers.

I’m so glad that I did it. I’m so thankful that I was uncomfortable and nervous and apprehensive because I got so much out of it. I don’t think I would have had as good of a time at the conference if I hadn’t met so many lovely people the night before. Jen hosted us, and I met Erin, Amy, Stephanie, Mimi, Jamie & Lindsi, Jo, Kristin and Kristin number two and Lyndsay. Whew that was a lot of links.

But having those faces I recognized when I walked thru the door at Allina Commons for Minnesota Blogger’s Conference made all the difference.

One of the best parts of the conference was all of the lovely people I met. Everyone from #flipflopnight and specifically meeting Sellabit Mum aka Tracy and Kate. Well and of course, Miss Harper Moo.

But more so than meeting these lovely people, that I hope to see again in the future, I remembered why I started blogging in the first place. While all the sessions were great it was Kate Hopper‘s that really made it all worthwhile for me. I remembered Ms. McCue, my eight grade creative writing teacher, and the whole reason why I started writing. To write. Not to be caught up in all of the drama and posturing of blogging.

I’m not a mommy blogger. I write about more than my children. I don’t want to write about my children because there is nothing to say but an endless list of cute phrases, adorable photos, etc. I am lucky enough that my children aren’t ill, they aren’t anything but perfect and who wants to read about perfect? Not me.

I want to write, to write. To tell stories. To weave descriptions and paint images and stir emotions. I have stories to tell, and I want to tell them. Sometimes they will be a recap of my day, of an event, of workplace drama because that’s my present. But I hope to write more and more about my past. More and more about what defines me. My past is not lost and forgotten. It’s ever present even subtly under the surface.

In Kate’s session we were given two writing exercises that I really wish I had been more forceful and risen my hand to read out loud. My timidness got the best of me yet again. I’m going to share them now. Unedited. Raw. Just as I had quickly scribbled them on a spare sheet of paper and then retyped them hurriedly on my iphone.

Our first task was we were given 15 minutes to describe viscerally a childhood memory. I chose this one:

There are smells that transport me to my grandparent’s bathroom. That take me to a completely different world. Ammonia. Bleach. Those hard to inhale raw smells of sterilization. Of scrubbed dirt. The cleanliness of a Polish bathroom. And suddenly I’m naked in a bathtub starring at yellow tiles and photos torn from magazines. Edges finely cut and delicately taped to the wall. The ripple of steam that wrinkles the glossy ad of a better place. I soak and soak, prune my fingers till my skin resembles my grandmother’s. I am so many miles from home, from my parents. It’s been weeks since I spoke English immersed in these summer days. The only grandchild of an only son. I tune out the sounds of yelling and tears. A world were one stays married despite love long lost. I am in this world. In scalding water, crinkled fingers and rippled photos. A place were bleach is serenity.

Our next task was to describe someone. I chose Bear:

His hair is a mess of yellow curls surrounding his head like a halo. I hate the term towhead to describe the soft golden swirls that crown his eyes. His bright blue eyes. Large and encircled by long ebony lashes. Eyes that girls would dream to have and one day will melt in. He has a little turned up nose that I would kiss everyday if I could. Tiny hands that fit mine perfectly but suddenly seem mammoth in comparison to his new baby sister. He is always running, a yellow blur in my house. Jumping and shouting and laughing. I find myself telling him he’s having too much fun and to quiet down. His infectious laughter. Even when sullen I’m drawn to him. To his elevated eyebrows, to his smirk. He has a way of pulling me in despite how tired or frustrated I am. Despite wanting to curl up in my bed and fall into a haze of Bravo. He pulls me out of my solitude to engage me in yet another story of Bakugans. Yet another picture he drew that resembles nothing I’ve seen before. To tell me a knock knock joke that always seems to end with bananas.

My biggest takeaway:

You can change the world with words. We’re not bloggers were online writers.

17 Responses to “After My First Blogging Conference – #MNblogcon”

  1. OHmommy September 12, 2011 at 6:02 pm #

    Love this. So glad you were able to go!

    • M September 12, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

      Thank you! It’s getting me excited/hopeful I’ll be able to go to one of the bigger conferences like Blissdom or BlogHer. First I need to get this new job =)

  2. Ann September 12, 2011 at 7:46 pm #

    Love your Grandparent’s bathroom prompt. So glad you had fun at the conference.

    • M September 13, 2011 at 1:19 pm #

      Thanks. I wonder if I have more memories of those times that I just haven’t thought of in a long time.

  3. Kate (@PerpetuallyKate) September 12, 2011 at 9:10 pm #

    This? I found you at the conference and this, I am now certain, is cosmically why I was there. Because you were. I am in that bathtub right this second.

    • M September 13, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

      That is just the nicest thing ever. I LOVED meeting you. =)

  4. Rima September 12, 2011 at 9:43 pm #

    So glad you went and enjoyed it! And that you’re not giving up:)

    • M September 13, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

      Thank you. Nope not giving up. I’m just going back to the beginning of why I started in the first place!

  5. Leah Michele September 12, 2011 at 11:03 pm #

    Kate’s session really hit home with me, too! Not sure if you attended Paul’s networking session but one thing he said is that going to an event with a familiar face makes it a lot easier! Thanks for posting your recap, I’m glad you were able to push the boundaries!

    • M September 13, 2011 at 1:36 pm #

      He also said not to sit next to anyone you know but I promptly ignored that. I figured I was just meeting them IRL for the first time so I don’t “know” them despite the fact that I do read their blog/talk on twitter with them!

  6. Jamie H September 13, 2011 at 3:15 pm #

    It was great to meet you at Flip Flop Night and equally as fun to see you at the MNBlogCon! I too remember walking into my first blogging event not knowing anyone. It can be intimidating! You quickly learn that we are all very welcoming! Can’t wait to see you at more MN blogger events!

    • M September 13, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

      Totally agree, it was tons of fun. We’ll have to get Jen to organize another event soon. =)

  7. katehopper September 17, 2011 at 4:46 pm #

    What wonderful writing! I’m so glad that you posted here, so I could see what emerged. It’s wonderful! And thank you so much for your kind words! I look forward to reading more!


    • M September 21, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

      Thanks Kate! I loved the writing exercises!

  8. StephanieinSuburbia September 18, 2011 at 7:19 pm #

    I’m so glad we got to meet! I’m just catching up on your blog, put it in my MUST READ file!

    • M September 21, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

      I’ve got you in the same place. Now if I can only get on top of life enough to actually get there!!


  1. Roundup: Minnesota Blogger Conference 2011 « Marketing Mama - September 16, 2011

    […] After My First Blogging Conference – Lost and Forgotten […]

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